Monsoon rains flood Filipino villages, thousands evacuate – .

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Monsoon rains flood Filipino villages, thousands evacuate – .


MANILA, PHILIPPINES – Thousands of residents fled flooded communities and swollen rivers in the Philippine capital and outlying provinces on Saturday after days of torrential monsoon rains, which left at least one villager dead, officials said .

Officials said they were struggling to open more emergency shelters to allow social distancing between displaced residents and prevent evacuation camps from turning into epicenters of COVID-19 infections .

In the hard-hit town of Marikina in the capital region, nearly 15,000 residents were evacuated to safety overnight as waters rose alarmingly in a large river.

“This situation will be too difficult if there is no permanent solution to the flooding, especially now with the threat of the delta variant,” Mayor of Marikina Marcelino Teodoro told ABS CBN News, referring to the highly contagious COVID-19 viral strain that has been detected in the country.

Many residents were evacuated from flood-prone villages in Marikina overnight, depriving them of sleep, Teodoro said. He blamed years of illegal logging in nearby mountains and the extensive siltation of the Marikina River for the constant flooding in his town.

In the mountainous city of Baguio, in the north of the country, a resident died Friday afternoon after the taxi she was in was struck by a falling tree, police said, adding that two others people in the taxi were injured.

The northern Philippines was submerged by days of monsoon rains that inundated low-lying villages and triggered minor landslides.

Typhoon In-fa, which swept across the country’s east coast and dumped rains on Taiwan before blowing towards China, intensified the seasonal downpours, forecasters said.

A freighter overturned after being whipped by strong waves on Saturday near a port in the town of Pio Duran, in the province of Albay, southeast of Manila. Its 10 crew members were rescued by police, firefighters and villagers, who used a long rope to pull the overturned boat closer to shore, the coast guard said.

Coastguard personnel rescued several residents trapped in their homes by rising waters on Friday in the town of Naujan, in the eastern province of Mindoro, south of Manila.

As they carried the villagers through waist-deep water, the rescue team held onto a rope to avoid being swept away by the current.

About 20 typhoons and storms hit the Philippines each year, apart from the seasonal monsoon rains.

The country is also in the so-called “Ring of Fire” of the Pacific, an earthquake and volcanic eruption prone region, making it one of the most disaster prone nations in the world.

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